The New Orleans Pelicans landed the 8th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft courtesy of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Pelicans were the only playoff team in the NBA Draft Lottery, so have a chance to add elite talent to a team that is already good and will be getting Zion Williamson back.
The 2022 NBA Draft has no real consensus outside of the top-3 and you’ll find plenty of argument there as well, as there isn’t a clear favorite for the number one pick.
This could lead to a few more trades than usual, as teams may think they can get a similar talent anywhere from pick 4-10.
The New Orleans Pelicans have a chance to add another high-ceiling young player to a team that already has youngsters in Herbert Jones, Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphy III and Jaxson Hayes playing significant roles, not to mention team leader Brandon Ingram who is 24 and Zion who is still just 21-years-old.
But the Pelicans have many options when it comes to how they use the 8th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Options for the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2022 NBA Draft
Option #1: Take the best player available
The Pelicans added two rookie rotation players last offseason, one from the second round (Jones) and one undrafted (Alvarado). They also found a guy in Trey Murphy III who improved as the season went on, earned a bigger role and had some clutch moments.
So the New Orleans Pelicans have shown they are pretty good at drafting, so why not just listen to your talent evaluators and take the best player available?
That could be a guy like Dyson Daniels from the G-League, or Bennedict Mathurin from Arizona, a shooting guard like Johnny Davis from Wisconsin or a guy like Jeremy Sochan from Baylor who could boost the defense and add a connector on offense.
The Pelicans’ roster is going to be pricey soon, with four guys at the top making big money, so they need to keep a steady flow of cheap talent coming in to have sustained success around their stars.
But if the New Orleans Pelicans don’t really like anyone they can take at eight, they could push their chips in the middle and make a trade.